Enkele Late T. - Roi du Midi
We started early for a Sunday morning. My partner Rob was determined to see the tulip fields and the Keukenhof gardens this year. We had been warned that the lines just to drive in were long. Since the gardens are only open from mid-March thru early May it is a very busy place. In addition to the timing the weather was perfect. It had been sunny and clear for days now. Everyone is nervous about when it will end, but loving it while it lasts. Our friend David was going with us, I think it was an insurance policy to ensure we went and left at the agreed upon time.
Rob was up and moving at 7:30 because he had to go across town and pick up our car.
Living in the center of Amsterdam we don’t use it much and want to park it safely and cheaply, so it is a 20 minute tram ride to get to it. After he was ready and on his way I began to get ready. David showed up just before Rob got back. Camera, snacks, and sunglasses in hand we were off. The drive to the gardens was nice and amazingly there were no lines. I kept questioning the TomTom’s directions because it seemed to be taking longer than I thought it should . The TomTom also tends to give me bad directions at times. I really think it hates me and plays games with me. Once it had me drive down a midieval pedestrian street that was so narrow a woman tapped on my window from her café table to give me directions.
We were winding down some very narrow streets when we began to see the tale-tale signs we were close.
Long expansive strips of color were rolling out for kilometers, each one a different type or color of flower. It was like someone had laid down a multi-colored carpet across the landscape. A few of the fields had already peaked and the petals lay in the spaces between rows providing ribbons of colors next to the green plants that were left. It was an amazing sight to see. We stopped to get some shots of these glorious creations that were nothing more than mass plantings for cultivation and sale.
Dubbele Late T. - Orange Princess
Our sense of smell was immediately assaulted when we stepped out off the car. The sweet and aromatic odor hung in the air and enveloped us. It was absolutely wonderful. We crossed the road from where we parked to the fields. They were even more spectacular up close with the bulbs so close together some were touching.
We completed our gawking and photo taking and returned to the car. Now we moved down road a short distance to the parking directly across from the entrance to Keukenhof. Man were we doing well. After a quick stop for biological reasons we headed to the ticket booth. After standing in line a few minutes David realized he left his sunglasses in the car. He attempted to find it by himself, but ended up coming back empty handed. As we still had a ways to move in the line Rob headed to the car with him while I waited. A speedy return with sunglasses in hand and we made it to the form of the line. After being relieved of 46.50 Euros for entrance and parking we were granted access.
We made our way past the food stand and employees selling maps for and additional 4 Euros to the garden.
It virtually bloomed before us. There were wide lanes going in three directions with multi colored beds full of many varieties of tulips, narcissus, and other flowers. It was absolutely breath taking (especially if you have allergies). We wander down the lanes awe-struck by the beauty of the blooms. The beds were planted so that there were plants in different stages of maturity. This was to ensure a longer period of colorful beds. I had never realized how many different variations of flowers there are. We say them with wave edges, frayed edges, double blooms, upside down blooms, miniatures, different shades of color, and the list just goes on. We made our way to the pond through sculptured flower beds, fountains, and sculptures. They have actually installed pillars in the pond to allow people to walk out onto it by hopping from wooden lily pad to wooden lily pad, very cool and fun.
Walking on Water
As we moved on David realized he has lost one of his clip on sunglass lenses. Since they were custom made for the glasses we mounted a search. Unfortunately it was not found. At this point we needed a snack. After a nice bowl of soup, it was on to more flowers.
The garden just kept going and continued to amaze us. We explored the greenhouse and found some wonderful stained glass. There was on piece that was of a daffodil that my mother would love. We also laughed at a few of the different names for the species. David couldn’t resist a hotdog before we exited the greenhouse. We made for the windmill after that. There was line to go up to the observation deck and it was packed full.
We avoid that. At this point Rob and I were getting hungry. We made our way through the Japanese Tea Garden to the exit.
We returned to the car and headed back home. On the way home we munched on nuts from the Saturday morning market near our house. What a wonderful experience this was and so many beautiful flowers.